This month we'd like to introduce you to Tangela Craft, President of Simply Necessary Incorporated. As many women inventors discover, building a business can happen organically when you create a solution to an every day problem you face as a mother. Tangela's first product is the Go Pillow! What I loved about the product when I heard about it was that it is not obsolete once your child grows out of infancy. The Go Pillow! is also functional for toddlers which means you can reap the benefits of it's functionality for years!
1- Tangela, you are the President of Simply Necessary Incorporated. What
inspired you to launch this business?
Simply Necessary, Incorporated was founded because I was a breastfeeding mom that wanted a comfortable way to cradle my baby for an extended period of time. I started toying around with creating a solution to my problem. The result was the first incarnation of the GoPillow! The idea for adding the privacy blanket to the GoPillow! came later. It was added after I was caught in a crowded area during a rainstorm at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. My husband took off his shirt and gave it to me so that I could use it to nurse my daughter discreetly. We realized that a built-in privacy blanket or cover would separate our pillow from any other nursing pillow on the market.
2- You filed a patent application for the Go Pillow!. What can other inventors learn from you about the patent-process?
Filing a thorough application can save inventors time and money. They should start out by visiting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website. Being familiar with products that are similar to theirs and knowing which claims make their product truly unique and worthy of a patent will help the patent application go through on the first filing. The more accurate claims that an inventor can make about a product the better.
3- Where are your products sold?
The GoPillow! can be purchased from the Simply Necessary, Incorporated
They are also available for purchase in the Philippines via the Babies
to Toddlers website: http://oryx.arvixe.com/~babiesto/index.php?route=product/product&path=57&product_id=168
4- Tell us about Get On the Shelf.
Walmart launched an online contest that allowed anyone with a product
for sale to pitch it to the public. Contestants could submit a YouTube
video telling potential voters why their product is worthy of a place on
Walmart store shelves. Voting in the first round of the contest began on
March 7, 2102 and will continue until April 3, 2012. The 10 products with the most votes in the first round will move forward to a second round. The grand prize winning product will be sold online at Walmart.com and will be featured at select Walmart stores.
The GoPillow! is one of about 4,000 products that entered the contest. People can vote for the GoPillow! by visiting our page. Votes can be cast in the contest by texting or via Facebook. Videos can also be tagged with three labels (Innovative, Fun, or Cute). When voters visit the Get on the Shelf video submission pages they can share their favorite product's page links with their Twitter followers, on Pinterest, and by
sending an automatic email by clicking a button provided on each product's page.
5- What is the biggest challenge that you face daily as an entrepreneur?
I have to fight off frustration on a daily basis. I have had moms from
Australia, Germany, the U.K., Sweden, and all across the United States
send me messages about how much they love the GoPillow! Yet, most of
the big named retailers will not even consider putting the GoPillow! on
their store shelves because they're not familiar with the product. It's
a vicious circle because most national retail stores will not accept direct submissions from unknown inventors. Even though it has endorsements from nurses, lactation consultants, travel experts, and moms all over the world, the GoPillow! is still available online only.
6- The concept for the Go Pillow originated in 2002. 10 years later, what motivates you to continue to grow your business?
I invented the GoPillow! because I needed to be able to breastfeed discreetly and comfortably no matter where I went. I know other moms would love to solve that same problem by having a GoPillow! Both breast and bottle feeding moms can use the GoPillow! It's multipurpose and can be used from birth and beyond. My product makes being on the go easier for moms and their kids. I am selling something that I would buy and that I would use. Simply Necessary, Incorporated is just getting started. I believe in the GoPillow!
Tangela's entrepreneurial spirit is undeniable. It's this drive and dedication that sparks many an entrepreneur when launching a business. Let's help Tangela and the Go Pillow! Get On the Shelf!
To learn more about Tangela Craft, Simply Necessary Incorporated or the Go Pillow!, please visit her website: http://www.simplynecessary.com/contact_simply_necessary.htm
Facebook: Tangela Walker-Craft